Austin is undeniably one of the best places to visit across the state of Texas. Not only are there plenty of mesmerizing sights to see, but there are also restaurants in the city that offer the most delicious food, museums that offer free tours, parks that are exceptionally green and serene, recreational centers that give you unlimited memories, and so much more.
Of course, if you have a limited number of days to enjoy, it is impossible to visit every destination in the city. And if you are here, you are definitely caught up in the dilemma of whether you should visit the Texas State Capitol.
Well, here are some reasons as to why the trip to the historic statehouse is definitely worth it!
FREE TOURS AT THE CAPITOL START EVERY HALF HOUR
Is there anything better than free tours? We don’t think so! At the Texas State Capitol, the free tours start every 30 to 45 minutes. The tour timings run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, departing every 30 to 45 minutes. Tours run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 3:30 p.m. on Sundays.
There is so much you can learn about the history of the building through these tours while roaming in the halls, inhaling the scenic views, and snapping pictures. The guides even let you ask questions during the tour, which again, is a great way to learn about what the building is all about.
However, you do have the choice of roaming around the historic halls at your own pace. You don’t even have to fear getting lost in the building as there is a free self guided tour pamphlet that you can easily pick up from the Capitol Information and Guide Service room or the Capitol Visitors Center. Enjoy the beautiful architecture and capture some pictures to post on your Instagram later!
THE ORNATE ARCHITECTURE IS BREATHTAKING
Did you know that the Texas State Capitol was designed by Elijah E. Myers, an architect in 1881, and was fully open to the public in 1888?
Not only is the building extremely intricately designed, but it is also elegant and ornate. The doorknobs on the heavy exterior doors are such beautifully carved that you might feel transported back in time to a European city. The handrails and kick plates are equally magnificent, and you might find people bending over to see the craftwork on the handrails (don’t shy from doing that too!)
These intricate details go from pieces as small as door hinges to brass chandeliers and as big as the giant doors themselves. Keep an eye out for the brass chandeliers in the House of Representatives Chamber to find that the light bulbs spell out T-E-X-A-S!
TEXAS STATE CAPITOL HAS IMMACULATE GROUNDS THAT ARE FILLED WITH MONUMENTS
The Texas State Capitol is like a never-ending haven of architecture. The grounds of the Capitol are spread over 22 acres, which are filled with monuments that seem to be waiting to be discovered. The grounds feature more than 20 monuments scattered about the grounds, trees, historic buildings, and gorgeous landscape lawns. These monuments are a tribute to a wide range of people and special events, including disabled veterans, peace officers, Texas pioneer women, and heroes of the Alamo-just to name a few. The latest addition was unveiled in 2016, which is a monument to African-American history.
Perfect for exploring a little more, these grounds are also a great place for enjoying your time and picnicking with your friends!
THE STATE CAPITOL HAS SO MANY FUN EXHIBITS
You might think that learning history is boring, but when it comes to witnessing something in real life, the experience is totally different, and something that you don’t want to miss.
So, if you are interested in experiencing a “historical trip,” then don’t forget to stop by the Visitor’s Center. Their 2018-19 exhibit, “Saddle Up,” showcases Texas ranching tradition and the everyday lives of modern cowboys and cowgirls.
The building has so many other exhibits and old photographs, including a miniature replica of the Capitol’s dome. You can also examine materials that make up the Capitol building plus so much more!
THE RESTAURANTS NEAR TO THE CAPITOL ARE AUSTIN CLASSICS
No good trip is complete without food, and that is a fact. Well, the State Capitol is a contender on that frontier as well.
A trip to the Capitol is like visiting the landmarks of Austin, and while we’re doing that, why not take a visit to the restaurant that makes one-of-a-kind food? Yes, Texas Chili Parlor, the famous dive that was shown in Quentin Tarantino’s 2007 movie “Death Proof” and serenaded by Guy Clark in his tune, Dublin Blues. Here, you can sample a wide variety of chili recipes, and when its too hot to handle, wash them down with a Mad Dog Margarita.
You can also find Scholz Garten, a German restaurant that has a great barbecue. Capitol Grill serves breakfast, lunch, and grab-and-go options, while Clay Pit offers some of the best Indian Food in town!
THE ROTUNDA TALKS BACK!
If you have heard chatter that the Capitol’s rotunda talks back, then let us you that it’s absolutely true! So, while you are on the visit to the Capitol, why not try it out for yourself!
When you are standing across the Capitol’s rotunda from your friends, try speaking in a normal voice. The acoustic phenomenon will amplify your voice so that it can be heard across the hall. The curved walls and ceiling support the phenomenon, and your voice kind of forms a loud echo and is carried far across the room. It is definitely fun for both adults and kids alike!
Here’s something more interesting, make sure you examine the floor when you are throwing your voice. You’ll find the six seals of the sovereign nations that governed Texas underneath your shoes; the Kingdom of France, the Kingdom of Spain, the United Mexican States, the Confederate States of America, the Republic of Texas, and the United States of America.
Convinced yet? Grab your friends and get going!